In Turkey’s Taurus Mountains, Farms Look Like Fashionable Artwork

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Rising up simply inland from Turkey’s southern coast, the Taurus Mountains are as lovely as they’re rugged. Even Alexander the Nice discovered the vary formidable: He famously failed to beat Termessos, a metropolis nestled within the vary at greater than 3,000 toes above sea degree. Researchers have designated a lot of the area as “marginal” landscape for human habitation and productiveness. So it could be stunning to study the mountainous space is without doubt one of the nation’s agricultural strongholds.

Small, intergenerational farms, usually lower than 12 acres, take advantage of use of house within the flatter highland valleys with lengthy, slim plots that, considered from house, look extra like fashionable artwork than meals manufacturing. Right here, along with subsistence farming, locals develop a variety of crops for export, from natural roses destined for the world’s nice fragrance homes to hazelnuts and apricots that you just may discover in your native grocery store shelf. The area additionally produces tons of apples, lentils, chickpeas, and wheat annually.

Farmers usually depend on rain-based irrigation strategies, which researchers warn might turn into a problem sooner or later. As local weather change shifts precipitation patterns, many fashions recommend the Taurus Mountains typically could turn into drier and extra liable to drought. Already, many beforehand farmed areas have been left fallow as a result of some crops, notably wheat, have gotten too costly to develop there.

The rugged Taurus Mountains stretch just inland along much of Turkey's southern coast.
The rugged Taurus Mountains stretch simply inland alongside a lot of Turkey’s southern coast. Zeynel Cebeci/CC BY-SA 4.0/WIKIMEDIA

To guard the native financial system within the face of local weather change, researchers are investigating a variety of potential options, reminiscent of changing farms to almond orchards, as outlined in a paper published in Environmental Earth Sciences in Might. The price of turning the slim plots of land into orchards, and of sustaining the water-hungry bushes, could make the thought impractical, nevertheless. As farmers and scientists seek for a means ahead, the way forward for the area’s agriculture—and what it is going to appear to be from far overhead—stays a query mark.

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